Integration into futuristic content, although a bigger creative lift, can boost brand perception and appeal for consumers today.
A slew of future looking and technology driven programming is set to release in the coming year. We summarized a piece featured on the DRUM in which BEN Director of Strategy and Partnerships, Jenny Olson, gives her take on how brands can enter the future.
Brands can play a critical role in futuristic content. Evergreen brands and products can use future settings to tout their longevity and heritage, implying that they will withstand the test of time. Johnnie Walker appeared in both the original 1982 Blade Runner and its 2017 sequel, for example. Science fiction content often carries an undertone of exploration, offering brands the opportunity to tap into that spirit of wonder and adventure. Omega watches received a great deal of exposure by watch enthusiasts and casual fans on the internet, for example, when George Clooney wears a Speedmaster model into space in Gravity.
Perhaps the most impactful opportunity for brands is creating something one-of-a-kind to fit a project’s time and place, similar to the Back to the Future example. Scarlett Johansson rides a concept motorcycle forged by Honda in Ghost in the Shell. Colin Farrell pulls a futuristic Heineken bottle out of his fridge in Total Recall. Will Smith receives a shipment from an animatronic FedEx droid in 2012’s I, Robot, a concept which is not far from today’s Amazon drones.
This custom approach requires collaboration between the brand and producers but can have a memorable impact onscreen and beyond. In storytelling, the sky is the limit, yet even the kernel of an idea from a story could positively impact a brand's innovation. Producers across all genres often rely on real-world products to lend authenticity to their stories; future-set content need not be any different, and the creative prowess of Hollywood talent can build familiarity for brands, with a futuristic twist.